Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Spring, Wheat, and Happy Birthday!

Happy Spring!!!  I have many things to celebrate on this exceptionally warm Vernal Equinox.

Having just returned from a trip to Montana to see my son I am happy to report that he is thriving out in the wild, wild west and has even put on some weight.  Many interesting agri-political stories from that trip.  I will share later.

The woodcocks are back at the edges of our fields and we saw a mourning cloak butterfly the other day at Shleppinghurst.

And speaking of Shleppinghurst it looks like there is going to be no mud season this year so we will be able to open the garden for visitors in April.

I have managed to keep this blog going for a whole year now and although I don’t write every day as I had planned I do get something posted most weeks.   Hurrah for me!!!

As a celebration of this anniversary I thought about reposting my favorite essays but something even better was in my inbox this evening.

It is often said that Maine could feed itself, except for grains.    That’s what you hear every time the topic of self-sufficiency in this state comes up.   “Yep, we produce enough food to feed ourselves, except for bread.”   At that point someone, usually me, pipes up with “But we used to be the breadbasket of the Northeast.  Surely we could become that again.”   Then the back and forth starts about only being able to grow grains on a large scale in the prairie states (like Montana, more on that later).   Well it’s all hooey!  We can grow enough grain to feed ourselves.  Amber Lambke and Michael Scholz are well on their way to proving that up in Skowhegan.  The co-founders of Maine Grains have been working for several years to get a gristmill up and running at the historic Somerset County Jail.  For, you see, the problem is not so much about growing the grain as getting it processed on any sort of commercial scale.  Their project, “Flour with the Flavor of Home” is now on Kickstart.  Which, if you don’t know what that is, you should so go to this link and find out!  It is a truly original way for small (at least small in this megaplex, billionaire, Malwart, world we live in) projects to get noticed and get funded.

I met Amber at the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan a couple of years ago and she is a dynamo if anyone can make a grist mill in central Maine a reality it is she.  This is the right project at the right time and they need your help.  I urge you all to go to that link and pledge what you can.   This is it folks.  The essence of local food.   Put your money where your mouth is and help get this project off the starting blocks.

Oh and Happy Birthday Populist Farmer!   I knew we could do it!!!

The Sunday List

Forsythia turin

Image via Wikipedia

Well, those few of you who have been faithful followers of this humble blog may have noticed that I’ve missed a couple of days lately.  I have been a bit under the weather and between that, working 50 hours a week at my two paying jobs and spring farm work I have just run out of time and energy to post.  So I decided today’s Sunday list should be upbeat and hopeful so I can get back on track.

Here are 10 things I love about  SPRING!

1)    Sap reducing on the woodstove.  The whole house smelling of maple syrup.
2)     The sound of Woodcocks courting on the edge of the field as they peep peep peep then do their aerial acrobatics to attract the lady Woodcocks.
3)    Bountiful, plenteous eggs from my hens and the happy hen sound they make when I feed them scraps of veggies.
4)    Political demonstrations moving outside.  Out into the sunshine and fresh air that are such good metaphors for a healthy democratic society.
5)    Pruning my apple trees.  Up in the branches as honks of geese go overhead.
6)    Seedlings on the window sills and in the cold frame and everywhere there is room (maybe next year a greenhouse!)
7)    Cutting fresh greens from my cold-frame.  Salad from my own land!!
8)   Phoebes looking for nesting spots under the eaves of my house.
9)    Vases of forced Forsythia on my breakfast table.
10)     Playing in the mud.  I have loved doing this since I was a kid.  I remember teaching my son how to do it in our dooryard when he was two.  Making little rivulets of water run down the driveway.  My Sweetheart and I spent several hours doing this the other day to help the water from the VERY high snow banks make it down to the ditches by the side of the road.

Happy Spring!!!

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